It’s not uncommon for tech companies to put out products that never get a sequel, either because it didn’t become popular or didn’t sell well or even both. Sometimes, those one-off products don’t even get their due support as far as customer service or, in the case of computing devices, software updates go. Consumers look for signs that a company is invested in a product beyond just launching and selling and then forgetting about it. Microsoft’s latest business move might exactly be that sign that the company is in for the long haul when it comes to its most ambitious Android smartphone yet.
Microsoft doesn’t exactly have a track record of success when it comes to mobile devices. From the earliest Nokia phones to its own Lumia brand, both Android and Windows, the company hasn’t exactly become the third racehorse that it had been boasting it would be. That didn’t exactly inspire confidence in Microsoft Android-based Surface Duo and, apparently, it wasn’t exactly doing all the work by itself.
Windows Central’s Zac Bowden explains that Microsoft didn’t have its own team of Android experts to work on the changes it needed to make to the OS for the Surface Duo’s unique dual-screen experience. It employed the help of Finnish software engineering and design services company Movial to quickly make that vision a reality. Now that things have settled down, Microsoft is apparently acquiring Movial.
Movial will reportedly continue operating as an independent company but it will be moving many of its employees across different countries. Many of these will be forming a team under Microsoft’s Devices division, presumably to continue work on the Surface Duo. If anything, this suggests that Microsoft does intend to support the device, at least for the time being. Whether we will get a Surface Duo 2 depends on exactly what its expectations for the first Surface Duo are.
In terms of specs, the Surface Duo will be launching with last year’s premium hardware but that may be forgivable if the software experience is as Microsoft hyped. If, however, it delays the Surface Duo’s launch further, that not-so-current hardware will indeed slowly turn into a liability, especially as the software becomes too complex for the hardware to bear.